Kickstarter Update (February 2018)

Hello everyone! It’s been quiet on the Kickstarter front for a while, but once again, like buses, there’s been a sudden flurry of activity and now there’s a few projects to choose from. Here’s the projects I’ve backed recently:

The Wild Hunt

This is a new scenario from Stygian Fox Publishing, written by Tyler Omichinski. As the title indicates, at its core is the Wild Hunt. Bringing myths and legends into a scenario is always a big plus for me, so I’m in!

The campaign funded pretty quickly and has a number of formats available (PDF, softcover, hardcover, and a couple of limited editions).

Stretch goals already met including making the book full colour, providing pre-generated characters, adding more art and maps. Stretch goals to come include more art and play aids.

The project has fully funded at the time of writing this, and finishes on 1st March 2018.

The Pallid Mask: King in Yellow tiki mug & RPG

From the crew that brought you “The Horror in Clay” (yep, I’ve backed most of their projects), the Pallid Mask allows you to get up close and personal to the King in Yellow and not take any SAN loss – well, it depends what you’re drinking out of him, I guess. I think this would make a great vessel for a Piña Colada! One side of the tiki mug shows the King in Yellow, the other presents the Pallid Mask (complete with some of the patterns from the early editions of the Chambers book).

This project varies a little bit from the previous projects the creators have run. There’s the usual additions (coasters, stickers, other bits and bobs) but this is the first that’s featured a scenario with it. It’s not a licenced Call of Cthulhu scenario, but is instead described as “a custom-written D6 tabletop RPG module”. The title is “The Pallid Mask: Shores of Carcosa” and is set in Portland. Not much has been released about it yet, but a demo is expected shortly to be released to backers.

The project has fully funded at the time of writing this, and finishes on 6th March 2018.

The Princess Bride Roleplaying Game

I wonder how many readers have said or thought “Inconceivable!” at this point? 😉

I know it’s not Cthulhu related (or even horror), but as it was recently mentioned in a podcast episode, I thought I’d mention it here. I got to play a great one-shot of this game at Contingency last month, run by John Gathercole using the quick start rules, and really enjoyed it. Some memorable moments with a boar from that scenario! The game uses the Fudge mechanics, so it’s nice and simple, which is definitely a plus for me.

Originally, the licence restrictions that Toy Vault faced meant that they could only ship the RPG to the USA and Canada. It seems like enough people complained about this (I know I was a bit grumpy about this when I first found out, as I really wanted to pledge) that they have now opened up international shipping – WOOHOO!

At the time of writing, the project is 66% funded with just over $15,000 to go before it hits its $45,000 target. It finishes on 15th March 2018.

And lastly, just for Scott…

C is for Cthulhu Blanket-Stuffed Pillow!

Yep, their at it again! This time, the team has produced a C is for Cthulhu themed cute pillow that comes stuffed with a blanket (basically a larger version of the baby blanket that was released in the last project for “Sweet Dreams Cthulhu”). It features Cthulhu all wide awake on one side, and fast asleep on the other.

Pledges cover a range of options, allowing backers to get their hands on previously produced goodies (plushes, books, etc.). I’ve picked up a couple of pins and fridge magnets alongside the new stuff.

Unlike previous projects, this one’s only a short run as they have everything ready to ship, so its more to help get the initial batch of them off the ground and out to backers.

The project has fully funded at the time of writing this, and finishes on 28th February 2018.

Posted in Kickstarter, Unholy Artefacts | Leave a comment

Episode 123: The Good Friends rekindle their love for The Wicker Man

Play

The Wicker Man

Main Topic

We’re back and we’re erecting monstrous effigies, playing deadly games and proclaiming that Sumer is Icumen In. OK, it’s February, but we’re sure that summer is out there somewhere. In fact, as we mention, the cast and crew of The Wicker Man had to pretend that a Scottish November offered the warmth of late spring. We Britons are good at lying to ourselves about the weather.

And we can always find ways to keep the chill off.

As we’ve just implied, this episode is our look at the 1973 classic British horror film, The Wicker Man. Christopher Lee may have claimed that it wasn’t truly a horror film, but, with all due respect, he was wrong. This is one of the Unholy Trinity of folk horror film, as discussed in the last episode. A deeply disturbing look at a clash of faiths, leading to grisly consequences, it is filled with pagan imagery and nihilistic hopelessness. It’s also a musical, so do sing along as you scream!

“Please release me, let me go…”

Once again, Mike Mason, line editor of Call of Cthulhu, joins our discussion. Like Scott and all other right-thinking people, Mike proclaims The Wicker Man as his favourite film. As a result, our conversation gets progressively more enthusiastic and geeky as we lose ourselves in its pagan ecstasies.

Not quite enough to strip off and dance naked for joy, but it was close.

In the course of the episode, we mention a few related projects:

Oh, Jesus Christ! Oh, Lord!

News

We mention that Scott was recently interviewed for a local radio programme on Secklow 105.5. The interview hasn’t been broadcast yet, but we shall be sure to post a link once it is available.

Matt mentions that the first session of his playthrough with Into the Darkness of his Intersections scenario should be available. This is the short campaign set in 1970s Istanbul that he wrote for the World War Cthulhu: Cold War corebook. It’s not actually out yet, unfortunately. We can offer the character creation session to tide you over, however. If you subscribe to the linked channel as well, you will be notified when the first episode is available.

Other Stuff

As The Wicker Man blends music and terror, so do we. There are two new songs in this episode, each a potent incantation of primal ecstasy. These, as ever, are our means of thanking new Patreon backers. The old gods themselves cower before our chants, so we limit ourselves to two songs per episode. With the recent influx of new backers, this means that we are still working our way through a considerable backlog. If you are still waiting, we thank you for your patience and promise that your song will come soon. Some fates are too terrible to be avoided forever.

Posted in Horror Films, The Good Friends of Jackson Elias | 1 Comment

Episode 122 – The Good Friends observe the rituals of folk horror

Play

Folk Horror

Main Topic

We’re back and we’re hiding in the hedgerows, weaving twisted little corn dollies and performing unspeakable acts of Morris dancing. This episode is our discussion of the very British subgenre of folk horror. In particular, we’re looking into the Folk Horror Revival and how it ties into the childhood fears of those old enough to remember the 1970s.

Mike Mason, line editor of Call of Cthulhu, joins us for this discussion. As a lifelong fan of folk horror, who is just the right age to have been shaped by its heyday, he offers a wealth of information and insights. And, as we have learned at great expense, we should always make acceptable offerings.

We’ll be seeing this chap again next episode.

We mention a number of works of and about folk horror in the episode. There are probably too many to link to without making these notes as long as the unexpurgated Golden Bough, but here are some highlights:

And just to wrap things up, have 26 minutes of childhood nightmares from the 1970s:

News

Good friend of the Good Friends, Cory Welch, has shared some goodies with us. When Cory ran Blackwater Creek for the Skype of Cthulhu crew last year, he asked us to record the handouts as audio files. A musician friend of his, who records under the name Walkathon (Facebook page), created some suitably creepy background tracks. You can now find all these files in our new Downloads section.

We recently set up a Discord server (a free text/voice chat service) and have started hosting the occasional discussion there. For example, last week we had a voice chat about structuring Call of Cthulhu scenarios. It’s all very informal and chaotic, so please drop in whenever you fancy.

If you check your podcast feed, you should find the special episode we recorded at MK LitFest 2017. Our main topic of conversation was the connections between literature and roleplaying games, which seemed appropriate for a literary festival.

Mike Mason updated us on a few new products from Chaosium. Reign of Terror, the French Revolution expansion for Horror on the Orient Express, is now out in hardback. The new collection of Sandy Petersen’s scenarios (written in collaboration with Mike), Petersen’s Abominations, is out in PDF, with the print edition to follow in the very near future. The revised, 7th edition version of the classic solo adventure, Alone Against the Dark, will be available in PDF soon.

Other Stuff

When we head out to the wheat fields to perform our ancient rites, clothed only in moonlight, we sing in ecstasy. More specifically, we chant the glorious names of those people who have backed us on Patreon. There are two such rites captured in this very episode. We still have a great many more people to sing to, but the mystic energies involved make it dangerous to perform more than two in a fortnight. There shall be more strange and unhallowed songs next episode.

Posted in Call of Cthulhu, Horror Films, Horror Stories, Inspiration, Roleplaying Games, The Good Friends of Jackson Elias | 1 Comment

Special Episode – Milton Keynes LitFest 2017 seminar on literature and roleplaying games

Play

We’re back with another special recording to tide you over during that long, bleak fortnight between regular episodes. This time, we’re coming to you from MK LitFest 2017, the first ever Milton Keynes literary festival. We recorded this last September, but have been waiting for the ideal time to put it out.

Given the setting, we decided to discuss the connections between fiction and RPGs. The theme for the evening was “Made in Milton Keynes”, so we also wove in some background about the development of Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. Paul may come from Buckingham, but he playtested the game at MK-RPG. Close enough!

Sadly, Matt was unable to take part. He had just returned from a business trip to Stuttgart, bringing a nasty chest infection back with him. Don’t worry — the rest of us didn’t miss out! He shared it prolifically, which is why we sound like Deep Ones on our recordings from late last year.

 

Mike Mason generously took some time out to join us. As line editor of Call of Cthulhu, he had plenty of insights to offer on both strands of the conversation. Also, as he reveals in this episode, he used to live in Milton Keynes, making this some kind of hideous homecoming for him. I’m sure Robert Olmstead would sympathise.

MK LitFest will return in 2018, between Friday the 21st and Monday the 24th of September.

Posted in Call of Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft, Horror Stories, Roleplaying Games, The Good Friends of Jackson Elias | Leave a comment

Episode 121 – The Good Friends delve into System Matters

Play

System Matters

Main Topic

We’re back and we’re wondering just what it is we’ve been doing with all these dice. Inspired by our mention of Ron Edwards’ System Does Matter essay in our recent episode on Sorcerer, we give some thought to how mechanics shape play.

Having a mechanic lend you a spanner to strike another player can be most useful.

As well as talking about theory, we also try to provide some concrete examples. Specifically, we take a simple scenario premise and discuss how running it with various game systems might create very different experiences.

Such as driving your players screaming from the table.

News

In the news segment, Matt and Paul briefly share their experiences of Dragonmeet 2017. They met a number of listeners there, so thank you to everyone who made themselves known and said hi. If you ever encounter us in the wild, we encourage you to do the same. We rarely bite.

Paul and Scott have been busy recording extra material for our Patreon backers. As we mention in the episode, we have just released the second of our series of Weird Whisperings. These are our recordings of some of the weird tales we’ve discussed on the podcast. The latest release is Paul’s reading of Lovecraft’s The Outsider. There is a short sample at the end of this episode. If you are a backer, please check your email or our Patreon page for details about how you can download your goodies.

Other Stuff

When we recorded our episode about Sorcerer a few months ago, we made a few mistakes. Specifically, we got some key details wrong about the origins of The Forge. Happily, Ron Edwards himself got in touch to correct us. He also provided a short history of the website. Anyone interested in the subject will find his comment illuminating. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the original post to read it.

Also on the subject of Sorcerer, the discussion thread for the episode on our Google+ Community was filled with great ideas. We pick out a few highlights in this episode, but it’s definitely worth reading the whole thing. If you are thinking of playing Sorcerer, you will find plenty of inspiration.

And, once again, we must warn you that there is singing in this episode. We have had a staggering number of $5 backers on Patreon recently and it is taking us a while to craft artisanal sonic nightmares for you all. Please bear with us if you haven’t been subjected to your song yet. Your time will come. Oh yes, it will come.

Posted in Call of Cthulhu, Gaming Conventions, Roleplaying Games, The Good Friends of Jackson Elias | 1 Comment